Participation of young severely disabled children is influenced by their intrinsic impairments and environment.

Rob Forsyth, Allan Colver, Seraphim Alvanides, Mark Woolley, Marion Lowe

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74 Citations (Scopus)


A prospective study of the families of young severely disabled children applying to a non-governmental organization for financial support examined the respective contributions of a child's intrinsic impairment and the family's environment to their participation. The study population comprised the families of 600 children of median age 2 years 8 months (range 1y-12y 1mo), of whom 46% had autistic or severe behaviour difficulties, 12% other learning disabilities, 6.8% cerebral palsy, and 10% non-neurological causes of severe disability. Intrinsic impairment was measured with the Health Utilities Index (HUI); environmental factors using a novel instrument, the European Child Environment Questionnaire (ECEQ); and participation of child and family using the Lifestyle Assessment Questionnaire. Principal components analysis was used to examine interrelationships. A five-component model explains 50% of the variance in the ECEQ. The first component, ECEQ1, reflects the support a family receives from professional services and family. HUI and ECEQ1 were independently associated with participation (p
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-349
JournalDevelopmental Medicine & Child Neurology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2007


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